Well done to Number 8 Harry Wilson, who played a big part in the Queensland Reds’ opening-round win for 2022 v Melbourne Rebels tonight. He brings so much to the table that a Number 8 usually contributes on the field, such as smashing through the opposition territory, spotting the Rebels mistakes defensively & building teamwork before he combined all of these skillsets that helped the Reds successfully unleash past the TRY line. And to top it off, he walked away with one assist in the 1st half via a short-ball offload towards Taniela Tupou on far left, plus a TRY for himself later in the 2nd half thanks to an inside pass from James O’Connor. He even clearly grounded the ball down just on the TRY line which was enough to award him a big score!!
Then we look at another Reds player on display, this time it’s James O’Connor at first five-eighth, who just played his 100th Super Rugby game tonight. The kicking through the two posts was brilliant as always, which helped extend the Reds’ early lead further in the first half. Beyond that, he’s an exceptional playmaker when organizing the attack through the channels. Not only does JOC love to create cross kicks as one way to get past the opposition through the gate, but his vision & leadership when offloading to his men with some room, have helped exploit the Rebels past the TRY line. And that one example where he assisted an inside pass to Harry Wilson, in another successful five-point touch score after half-time is exceptional teamwork planted right there.
These two men are key to the Reds’ hot start in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign, should they seek another successful spell even they will be facing the New Zealand teams at some point.
And Brad Wilkin did well to spot the Reds’ mistakes earlier on with some ill-discipline defensively. It allowed his Rebels side to put the pressure back to the home team, when being given the ball where Wilkin was blessed with the penalties that saw him nail down five points by himself via the five-meter line out. But a lack of executions & patience has let him down that led to more Rebels mistakes of their own, not even the heavy rain didn’t help change their game that much.